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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7625906, 10 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7625906
Research Article

A Novel Approach to Improve the Barrier Properties of PET/Clay Nanocomposites

Polymer Institute and Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606-3390, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Saleh A. Jabarin

Received 19 February 2017; Revised 11 April 2017; Accepted 18 April 2017; Published 11 May 2017

Academic Editor: Hossein Roghani-Mamaqani

Copyright © 2017 Kazem Majdzadeh-Ardakani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

An investigation of oleic acid-modified clay versus plain clay with regard to the physical and barrier properties of PET/clay nanocomposites was performed. Montmorillonite (MMT) and Cloisite 30B nanoclays were modified by long-chain oleic acid and identified as ol-MMT and ol-30B, respectively. Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results revealed that the fatty acid was associated with the clay surface and that the gallery spacing of the layered silicates was expanded. In the case of ol-MMT, a disordered structure of layered silicates was achieved. TGA results indicated that ol-MMT showed thermal stability and could survive PET processing temperature. The degradation of ol-30B, however, increased after modification because of the presence of oleic acid. PET/clay nanocomposites were prepared with modified ol-MMT and modified ol-30B by using a twin screw extruder. XRD indicated that there was a significant improvement on the dispersion of nanoclays modified with long-chain oleic acid into the PET matrix, and an exfoliated structure was achieved. DSC data also revealed that crystallization behaviors of nanocomposites prepared with oleic acid-modified clays are similar to that of extruded PET. Significant improvements in the mechanical and barrier properties of stretched PET/clay nanocomposites were also achieved.